My first interaction with Spanish Tapas was in Atlanta, back in the late nineties. And I say interaction, because there is definitely action that occurs between one and the sometimes innumerable dishes that are sometimes offered. Sometimes just deciding becomes quite a feat within itself. I was fascinated with tapas that I bought two of Penelope Casas' books; The Food and Wines of Spain and Tapas (an earlier edition of this). Unfortunately, the books mostly reside on my bookshelf. I need to get to some of those recipes one of these days.......
A few weeks ago, we had some very pleasant weather (as was today), and the Missus was in the mood for some sangria, so we headed back to Costa Brava on Garnet in Pacific Beach.
We've found the service to be good.... most of the Servers are kind of cautious and stand-offish initially, but once they figure you out, they are quite accommodating. There is one older gentleman who, once he got to know us, was quite friendly.
I've had some pretty good dishes, and some disappointments ( i.e. the gambas al ajillo). But I don't think I'd ever heard about happy hour, between 4 and 6pm during the week. There's a short list of tapas ranging from $2-$4, and a pitcher of sangria is $8.
I'll usually only have a glass, since I find sangria a bit too sweet for me. On one visit, it tasted very watered down, but on subsequent visits, it was fine.... and the Missus really enjoyed it.
There are about nineteen items on the Happy Hour menu, and I'll cover those we've tried in this post. I'll do the rest in a future post. I'm listing the items in the order of the Missus's preference. The prices listed will be the HH cost.
Her #1 is without a doubt, the Pescaito Frito (fried baby anchovies - $4):
I'm pretty sure the Missus could eat three of these by Herself. Crunchy, salty, and savory, the lemon adds a nice bit of acid to smooth out any very strong flavors. Call them french fries of the sea if you will..... the Missus loves these.
#2 Patatas a la Brava (spicy potatoes - $4).
I really don't know of too many people who don't like this. It was the item FOY Candice mentioned first when we were chatting about Costa Brava. Alice Q Foodie has this as one of her 100 Thing to Eat in San Diego. Potatoes + Allioli (mayo) + Spice = Very hard to wrong......
#3 Pulpo A la Vinegreta (Marinated Octopus - $3):
That's our top three of the Happy Hour items we ordered. Here's the rest:
Caracoles al Alioli (Escargot in Alioli Sauce $5):
Speaking of bread..... Cesta de Pan con Alioli (basket of bread and alioli - $2):
Aceitunas Alinadas (marinated olives - $2).
Champinones al Ajillo (Sauteed Mushrooms in Garlic and Sherry - $4):
Croquetas de Queso (cheese crouquettes - $4):
So there you go......... a couple of Happy Hour items from Costa Brava that won't break the bank. In part two, we'll cover stuff like this.
1653 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109
Open 11am - midnight daily